Whittaker History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Whittaker date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Whittaker family lived in one of a number of similarly-named places. The settlement of Wheatacre is in Norfolk, while Whiteacre in Waltham is in Kent; both of these names literally mean wheat-field. The place named Whitacre is in Warwickshire, while High Whitaker is in Lancashire; these names both mean white field. The surname Whittaker belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Whittaker family

The surname Whittaker was first found in Warwickshire where the first record of the name was Johias Whitacre (1042-1066), who died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Despite the fact he was on the losing side of the battle, his family was permitted to keep their estates. The place names Whitacre, Over Whitacre and Nether Whitacre were listed in the Domesday Book as Witacre and literally meant "white cultivated land" from the Old English words "hwit" + "aecer." [1]

One of the earliest rolls was the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Those rolls listed: Alan Witacur in Oxfordshire; and Richard de Whitacre in Northamptonshire. Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Henricus Wyteacre; Willelmus de Wetaker; and Rogerus Whitteacres. [2]

"The Whittakers or Whitakers are numerous in Lancashire. From the 14th to the 16th century a gentle family of this name lived at High Whitaker or Whitacre in the vills of Simonstone and Padiham, in the parish of Whalley: the Whitakers of Holme and those of Henthorn branched off in the 15th century and those of Healy about 1620. " [3]

One of the more interesting etymologies we found was the following: " local. The north part of a graveyard allotted to the poor was called Whittaker, from wite, a penalty, and acre,-a place of burial for criminals. A culprit who could not discharge the penalty or wite became a "witetheow," and was buried in the wite-acre. Bailey defines Whittaker "the north-east part of a flat or shoal-the middle ground." [4]

We tend to believe that name was more likely "derived from a geographical locality. 'of the white acre.' " [2] as the former entry would suppose that there would be many such listings of the surname scattered throughout ancient Britain and this was clearly not the case.

Early History of the Whittaker family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Whittaker research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1375, 1548, 1595, 1586, 1580, 1646, 1640, 1622, 1695, 1659, 1661, 1679, 1642, 1715, 1695, 1696, 1701, 1702, 1660, 1735 and 1704 are included under the topic Early Whittaker History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Whittaker Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Whittaker are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Whittaker include: Whittaker, Whittakers, Whitaker, Whitacre and others.

Early Notables of the Whittaker family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Richard de Whitacre (c.1300-1375), Lord of the Manors of Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Elmdon, and Freasley, he claimed direct descendancy for the aforementioned Johias Whitacre; William Whitaker (1548-1595), English Anglican theologian, Master of St. John's College, Cambridge; Henry Whitaker, English politician, Member of Parliament for Westbury in 1586; William Whitaker (c.1580-1646) of Shaftesbury, an English lawyer and politician, Member of Parliament for Shaftesbury in 1640; Henry Whitaker (c...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Whittaker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Whittaker family to Ireland

Some of the Whittaker family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Whittaker migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Whittaker or a variant listed above:

Whittaker Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Whittaker, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Geo Whittaker, aged 32, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • John Whittaker, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [5]
Whittaker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George, Henry, James, John, Josiah, Samuel, and William Whittaker, all, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1817-1864
  • Richard Whittaker, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1858 [5]
  • Thomas Whittaker, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868 [5]
  • Albert Whittaker, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [5]
  • Frank Whittaker, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1887 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Whittaker Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alice Whittaker, aged 55, who landed in America from Blackpool, in 1901
  • Alfred Whittaker, aged 35, who immigrated to the United States from England, in 1903
  • Alexander Whittaker, aged 37, who settled in America from Fermanagh, in 1904
  • Alfred Whittaker, aged 17, who settled in America from Broughton Clays, England, in 1907
  • Alice Whittaker, aged 65, who immigrated to the United States from Bury, England, in 1908
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Whittaker migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Whittaker Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ms. Ann Whittaker, aged 20 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [6]
  • Ms. Jane Whittaker, aged 20 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Dunbrody" departing from the port of New Ross, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [6]

Australia Whittaker migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Whittaker Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Whittaker, English convict who was convicted in Derby, Derbyshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • James Whittaker, a stone-cutter, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. John Whittaker, British Convict who was convicted in Lancaster, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836 [8]
  • Thomas Whittaker, who arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838 [9]
  • Amelia Whittaker, who arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Whittaker migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Whittaker Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Walter Whittaker, (b. 1847), aged 16, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Huntress" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st April 1863 [10]
  • Mr. Whittaker, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 30th March 1863 [11]
  • Mr. Henry Whittaker, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [11]
  • Mr. James Whittaker, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [11]
  • Mr. John Whittaker, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 17th October 1863 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Whittaker (post 1700) +

  • Robert H. "Bob" Whittaker (1904-1990), American college football player and coach
  • Robert Russell "Bob" Whittaker (b. 1939), American politician, Member of the Kansas House of Representatives (1974-1977)
  • Robert Harding Whittaker (1920-1980), American plant ecologist
  • Jim Whittaker (b. 1929), first American mountaineer to summit Mount Everest (1963)
  • Charles Evans Whittaker (1901-1973), associate justice of the U.S. Supreme court from 1957 to 1962
  • George Byrom Whittaker (1793-1847), English bookseller and publisher, born at Southampton in March 1793, the son of the Rev. George Whittaker, master of the grammar school [12]
  • James William Whittaker (1828-1876), English painter in watercolours, son of John Whittaker, warehouseman, born at Manchester [12]
  • John William Whittaker (1790-1854), English divine, son of William Whittaker of Bradford, Yorkshire [12]
  • Joseph Whittaker (1813-1894), English botanist
  • Edmund Taylor Whittaker (1873-1956), English mathematician
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Robert C Whittaker, British Air Mechanician, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [13]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Walter John Whittaker (1905-1939), British Marine with the Royal Marine aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]


The Whittaker Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Spes et fides
Motto Translation: Hope and faith.


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 60)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The PESTONJEE BOMANJEE 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838PestonjeeBomanjee.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 Jan. 2019
  13. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  14. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate